Proudly We Hail
- Publication date
- OTRR, Old Time Radio Researchers Group, OTR, Old Time Radio, OTRR Set, OTRR Certified Set, Proudly We Hail, PWH, Wendell Niles, Kenneth Banghart, Recruit, Public Service, Army, Air Force, C. P. MacGregor, MacGregor, C. P., C P MacGregor, CBS, 1940s, 1950s, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1952, 1953, 1954, OTRR - 2016-10
PROUDLY WE HAILProudly We Hail was a public service show for the Army and Air Force that first aired for a period of four months in 1941 on CBS. The show returned to the airways from 1946 through 1957 and aired on as many as 1300 radio stations.
The 1941 shows were billed as a program designed "to strengthen the mainstream of the defense machine – the workers in the arsenal of democracy – during a time of unlimited national emergency". This was the time of the buildup of tensions in the Far East and just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Major Bowes and Jane Froman kicked off the first 30 minute show on the CBS network on June 8, 1941 and the show ran during the summer until September 21, mostly on Friday nights, with different hosts and participants. Unfortunately, none these original shows are in circulation or known to exist.
In 1946, Hollywood producer C. P. MacGregor put together a series that was to be used as a public service in support of the Army and Air Corps recruitment departments. He had lots of contacts in the radio industry but did not have direct access to the networks. As a result he targeted independent stations and, by the week of July 10, 1946, had assembled over 350 stations into his independent network for the first broadcast of the syndicated show.
There were 136 shows in this first series. The shows were initially 15 minutes long and included recruitment ads along with a short play featuring a big name Hollywood star. Later shows in the series finished with a short interview with the star. MacGregor pulled off a major coup when he recruited Clark Gable for the first show. Other major actors agreeing to participate were Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, Alan Ladd, Preston Foster, Vincent Price, Barry Sullivan, Harold Peary, William Holden, Edward G. Robinson, and many others.
MacGregor was born in 1897 and would pass away in 1968. While active he was known as the "DeMille of the discs". He produced and distributed many syndicated shows such as Cecil and Sally, The Shadow, The La Rosa Hollywood Theatre of Stars, Salute to Reservists, Obsession, Heartbeat Theatre, Skippy Hollywood Theatre, Lux Radio Theatre, Eb and Zeb ... and many more. He also produced hundreds of recording sessions with artists such as Charlie Parker, Stan Kenton, Peggy Lee, Leadbelly and many more Jazz and contemporary artists. The Library of Congress has possession of the MacGregor Collection masters and recording ledgers from 1931-1970. A Google search of C. P. Macgregor will give additional details about his remarkable involvement in radio transcriptions.
Back to the show. Not all stations in the 'network' would broadcast the show on the same date. Newspaper references indicate that a particular program would be broadcast at different locations on dates that were months apart. For ease of reference however, we have used the date of release week as part of the file name.
The first 78 shows were of the 15 minute variety but starting with show 79 the programs would be 30 minutes long, still following the same format of a recruiting announcement, the first half of a play featuring a big name actor, a longer recruiting announcement, the second half of the play, another brief recruiting announcement, and finally by an interview. The first of the 30-minute shows featured Esther Williams and was released the week of Jan 11, 1948.
The program must have enjoyed quite a wide audience. Newspaper clippings as well as announcements during the program indicated that by early 1948 the independent network had grown to over 1000 stations. By mid 1948 the program was heard on over 1300 stations.
C.P. MacGregor served as host and Wendell Niles as announcer for a second series of 103 shows, called Series G. These shows followed the same format as the original series and were also released one show per week. The second series episode numbering is confusing because the first label printed with Series G begins with episode #20 dated Feb 20 1949. Disc inscriptions (that is to say, etchings cut into the disc itself) indicate that Series G extends back to Oct 10,1948 entitled Susie of the Sawdust which is episode 118. Unfortunately, we are missing the 14 transcription discs between episodes 110 and 125. Until the etching on these discs' can be examined, our assumptions to date and numbering remain to be confirmed and are subject to correction.
Up through Series G, the Proudly We Hail program has always been a radio log compiler's nightmare. Many broadcast dates and episode numbering have been added to this collection. These additions and corrections incorporated with previous radio logs make it possible to compile a reasonably accurate radio log. A new OTTER log is available on CD01 and will also be available here.
If all of episode numbering is a confusing mess to follow, a clearer idea can be gleaned by referring to the program spreadsheet also found on CD01 named Titles, Sources Artists.xlsx in the Anthology/Episode Details subdirectory.
The last show of this Series G series hosted by MacGregor with Wendell Niles as announcer is dated September 24th, 1950, and titled Back Home, is episode 103.
The program continued with episode 104 but was no longer labeled as Series G. Lee Tracy took over the hosting duties for shows 104-147. Then Paul Lukas served as host for shows 148-155 followed by Conrad Nagle for shows 156-173. Kenneth Banghart served as announcer for shows 104-173. Starting with episode 174, Kenneth Banghart would solo as host and announcer for the series thru 284. By episode 200 or so, no movie stars or famous names appeared in the shows. The series continued through to episode 464 which was released in August 1957.
There are still many missing episodes and your help in filling in these gaps is requested. Please contact Mike Harron or David Oxford of the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group if you can add a recording. If you have reel-to-reel, cassette or Transcription discs and need help to digitalize these recordings, please allow us to do this for you. Transcription discs and their etchings would be particularly helpful to confirm titles and dates. We believe you will find the series quite interesting, well recorded and very well performed.
OTRR Release Information:
Series Name: Proudly We Hail
Release Status: OTRR Certified Accurate
Release Date: September 18, 2016
Release Version: Version 1
Number of CDs: 20
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
OLD TIME RADIO RESEARCHERS GROUP
This is a production of the Old Time Radio Researchers (OTRR) Group located at Old Time Radio Researchers Website (www.otrr.org), Old Time Radio Researchers Facebook Group, and Old Time Radio Researchers Group.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
If you are interested in preserving Old Time Radio (OTR), you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Facebook and Groups.io.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Maintained Set -- This set contains all known episodes in the best available audio condition with the most accurate dates and titles known to be in general circulation and based on current research at the time of release. Replaces OTRR Certified Accurate and OTRR Certified Complete.
OTRR Non-Maintained Set -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Maintenance process.
Pre-2019 OTRR Definitions:
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that was "Certified Accurate" indicated that all the episodes were properly identified and labeled based on current information but that the series did not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that was "Certified Complete" achieved the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implied that all the files in the series were "Certified Accurate" and also indicated that the series was as complete as possible and included all circulating episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
Also, beginning in 2019, the version numbers of our OTRR releases changed format -- instead of v1.0 or v2.1, we are now using a version number that reflects the year and month the set was released. The format used is a two-digit year followed by a two-digit month. For example, "v1906" indicates a set that was released in June 2019, or "v1910" indicates a set released in October 2019.
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- 2016-10-10 18:55:47
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